It's impossible to avoid the fact that we're living in a tea-centric country. And while I enjoy a steaming cup of loose leaf tea as much as the next person, the fact still stands that I need my coffee on a (fairly) regular basis. Whether it's the immediate caffeine buzz, the nostalgic aroma, or simply a habit, for many Westerners coffee is as much a part of their morning routine as brushing your teeth. But if dropping 30 RMB on a Starbucks latte is wreaking havoc on your wallet (and waistline), rest assured that there are places in Shanghai to buy freshly ground coffee and all the equipment you'll ever need to brew the perfect cup of Joe right in your own home.
1) The Online Options
Let's start with the online options. YOMO Artisan Roast Coffee currently has over 20 different types of coffee for sale on their website. You can choose your beans from a single origin (Africa, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific Islands, Central America, or South America) or try their blends or organic and fair trade certified roasts. Prices aren't cheap (a Yunnan roast runs around 60 RMB per 250g), but chances are you've seen pricier brands at your local City Shop. They also sell plenty of accessories, like coffee grinders and bean roasters.
Along the same vein is Arabica Roasters, an online-based coffee company that has gained quite the reputation for offering a wide variety of beans – and for being a bit pricey. A basic Ethiopian roast starts at 230 RMB per 250g, while the “Indonesian Kopi Luwak” goes for a choke-on-your-coffee inducing 7,680 RMB (that's 1,200 USD, people!). But many customers swear that the bean quality, comprehensive website, and convenience of doorstep delivery are well worth it. Their website is definitely worth a look, if only for the training videos where they show you how to make drinks like Toffee Frozen Ice Latte.
2) Brick and Mortar Cafes
Moving on to brick and mortar locations, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Starbucks in this guide to home coffee brewing. Yes, they're everywhere, but it's for a reason – their coffee is good. I actually prefer brewing Starbucks coffee at home instead of buying it at the stores because it's cheaper and never gets that burnt taste that it sometimes has when the baristas make it. Of course, you're going to pay for the name brand but at 85 RMB for around 450g (for their House Blend); it's really not that outrageous. Besides being incredibly convenient to pick up (there are not over 100 Starbucks locations in Shanghai alone!), you can choose the bean strength (mild, medium, or bold) and have them grind it for you on the spot. Plus, they're one of the few places here that actually offer decaf.
If you're looking for something a bit less corporate, head over to Nap Cafe. Located inside the quaint Jiashan Market, don't let the name fool you – it's less of a cafe and more of a coffee-centric grocery store and has enough bean varieties to keep you busy for quite some time. Even more impressive than their actual roasts are the countless gadgets and trinkets devoted to all things coffee (and tea). Mugs, coffee pots, French presses... anything you need to make your perfect cup of coffee. Prices are fairly standard for import coffee with Indonesia Mandheling running around 65 RMB per 250g.
Starbucks (branch)View In Map
Add: 1F, CITIC Square, 1168 Nanjing Xi Lu (near Shanxi Lu), Shanghai
地址: 上海市南京西路1168号1楼, 近陕西路
Tel: 021 5298 4548
Opening hours: Daily, 07:30-22:30
Nap CafeView In Map
Add: Jiashan Market, No. 37, Lane 550 Shanxi Nan Lu (near Shaoxing Lu), Shanghai
地址: 上海市陕西南路550弄37号, 近绍兴路
Tel: 021 5213 3067
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-19:00
3) Import Stores
And lastly, don't forget about your local import store. While they may not (probably won't?) have your favourite brands from home, most of them carry the bigger names such as illy, tchibo and Lavazza. Some, like Carrefour, even have their own in-house blend (“Pure Arabica”) which will run you a bit less money but may cost you taste-wise. Don't forget to check out your closest City Shop, Pines, Fei Dan and Carrefour – and as coffee becomes more and more popular in China, chances are that our options will only improve.
City Shop (branch)View In Map
Add: Shanghai Centre, B/F, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu (near Xikang Lu), Shanghai
地址: 上海市南京西路1376号, 上海商城B楼, 近西康路
Tel: 021 6215 0418
Opening hours: Daily, 08:00-22:30
Pines (branch)View In Map
Add: 322 Anfu Lu (near Wukang Lu), Shanghai
地址: 上海市安福路322号, 近武康路
Tel: 021 6437 6375
Opening hours: Daily, 08:30-21:30
Fei Dan (branch)View In Map
Add: 158 Anfu Lu (near Wulumuqi Lu), Shanghai
地址: 上海市安福路158号, 近乌鲁木齐中路
Tel: 021 5403 6991
Opening hours: Daily, 08:00-22:00
Carrefour (branch)View In Map
Add: 268 Shuicheng Nan Lu (near Yan'an Xi Lu), Shanghai
地址: 上海市水城南路268号, 近延安西路
Tel: 021 6278 1944
Opening hours: Daily, 08:30-22:30
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Keywords: buying coffee in Shanghai imported coffee Shanghai how to brew coffee at home in Shanghai coffee equipment Shanghai
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